Now that we know the Super Bowl participants, I thought it might be instructive to examine how each team was constructed and compare it to the Eagles current roster.
I used the depth charts from ESPN for each team, though with the Eagles I put the injured OL and DeSean back in. Before we pick it apart, here is each starting line-up, with the source of each player listed. As we’ve discussed, elite players come almost exclusively from the 1st and 2nd round, so I’ve bolded each player that was acquired with either a 1st or 2nd round pick (either through the draft or via trade).
– We can immediately see the importance of hitting on your 1st round draft picks. The Falcons have 7 starters who were acquired with 1st round picks. The Ravens have 5. The Eagles have
just 3 4 (Peters should be listed as “Trade (1)”. Needless to say, this year’s top pick is hugely important .
– The next BIG difference is the number of starters drafted in the 4th round or lower. The Falcons have just 3 such players, the Ravens just 4 (including undrafted FAs). The Eagles have 8! As we’ve seen, late round picks provide depth players, not stars. On average, these guys should not be starting. Looking at the Ravens and Falcons starters, they are either high draft picks or free agents. (Yes, some of the FAs were originally drafted with late round picks, but the idea is the teams only picked these players up after it was clear they were good.)
– This brings me to a big lesson for every fan. Over the past few years, coming out of training camp, Eagles fans have gotten excited because a late-round pick has made the starting line-up (Matthews, Chaney, Coleman, Harris….) Let’s stop that nonsense. From now on I want everyone to try to remember: If a rookie chosen with a late-round pick is starting out of camp, it’s much more likely that it is a glaring weakness than a “draft steal”.
– The most unfortunate part of this examination is that it appears as though the Eagles will need at least 2-3 years to put a Super Bowl roster together, and that’s assuming they hit on almost every 1st and 2nd round pick. Roseman really needs to be as good at talent evaluation as Lurie believes he is, because the Eagles can’t afford to waste any more top picks.
You started writing this immediately after the first quarter of the NFC Championship, didn’t you?
Very interesting post though and your point stands.
Thanks. Added the 49ers. Wish I could use that as an excuse, but I actually wrote the post this morning. Just fucked up, though it turns out the 49ers are an even better example.